women who run with the wolves review

“Women Who Run with the Wolves” by C.P. Estés: Reclaiming Our Instinctual Nature

Wolves have a bit of a dire reputation following them. We see them as merciless predators, always hungry and at the feet of their next prey.

But as much as we don’t understand wolves, and for similar reasons maybe, we don’t understand women and we interpret them through a lens blemished with incomplete or poorly told fairytales across centuries. 

Wolves are ravenous only after a great famine, in wintertime, and kill with no intention to eat only when they are being driven by an instinct to survive as a remnant of past suffering. The same aggressive aspect can be seen in Estés‘s wild woman, the one who has been denied, said no to, squashed into a tiny space of being and welded to someone else’s wishes.

Almost every young girl knows the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, the tiny one who was forbidden to venture into the woods because she would be eaten by a hungry wolf. This fairytale, as well as many others told by the Brothers Grimm, carry only a grain of truth transmitted by oral narration over generations. In the book, Clarissa speaks of the harsh editing work the brothers needed to undertake when collecting the tales, mostly because of religious requirements at the time. Many of these edits removed obscene, sexual, or overly wild elements from the female psyche and behavior. 

In the cleaned-up story, Little Red Riding Hood manages to win in the meeting with the big bad wolf but only with the help of the hunter savior. And that’s the child-friendly version of the popular folktale because there are gruesome and creepy versions that are by no means something that a child should lay eyes onto. For that, we can thank the editors for doing a good job. But along with the bathwater went the baby, too. In one of the versions, Little Red Riding Hood manages to outwit the wolf by telling him she needs to take a poo in the woods. He releases her, trying to keep her at hand by tying a string to her but she puts the string around a branch and escapes. This Little Red Riding Hood is the epitome of the wild woman archetype as a young girl.

little red riding hood sculpture

Image by Leonie Schoppema from Pixabay

Clarissa Pinkola Estés brings us back to the story of the wild woman, a story about songs, bones, and wolves. A remarkable storyteller, Jungian analyst, and healer who integrated the wisdom roots of her Mexican and Hungarian ancestry and heritage into her healing work, the author clears ages of cobwebs and removes the debris of semi-truths and incomplete narratives about the wild woman archetype, connecting the reader with the feminine intuitive aspect. 

You don’t have to be a woman to read the book but you will feel it to the bones if you scrape against your feminine psyche aspects. And they do exist, whether you like it or not, whether you are aware of them or not. When searching for and exposing the wild woman archetype during her healing work, Clarissa Pinkola Estes uses the Jungian active imagination method heavily applied by Jung himself, the packer of archetypes. I call him the packer and not the creator because he only put ribbons to something that already existed in the collective psyche and its individual incarnations. 

Sound of Devotion, Dimitra Milan

Sound of Devotion by Dimitra Milan. Image Credit: Artist’s Page

What I found vividly expressive, nurturing, and wholesome in the book was the interconnectedness of the abandoned, rejected wild woman archetype and our own current missing connection from nature. It is a wake-up call to shed light on a long-lost or perhaps never by now found part of the self/selves, which reverberates with the echo of the wildness, instincts, and intuition that hides at the core of our bones. The book includes subtle and more direct nudges to reintegrate one’s voice with the voice of the wild woman archetype, craft new stories, and take a different type of action by peeling off layers from the forbidden. 

Slaughtered sheep herds are a sign of fear for survival – when wolves live in an optimal environment, their needs are met and they are quite the playful canines. Wolves and women bite and derail destructively when out of touch with who they’re supposed to be. Imbued with folklore sagacity, “Women Who Run with the Wolves” is a quite unique take on how to reclaim one’s power, by becoming aware of the fear that caused a trauma in the first place. A true analytical gem.

(I’ve listened to this book on Audible, which is a perk of its own since it is narrated by the author. )

Stories about Dogs and People participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Unless I've bought them as hardcover/paperback editions, I read most books on the Kindle app, but reading them on a Kindle device is a much better experience.


Love with no Masks

How to Love Someone, Body and Soul (or Love, Shortly)

Yes. It’s that time of the year again and Christmas movies are on the repertoire.

A great time to talk about love, actually… shortly

When we first meet a new person, our eyes see their body. We see the body as an indicator of that person’s worth and attractiveness. We don’t do this only with the bodies of other people. We do it to ourselves, too. Instead of being grateful for the body we have as a container for consciousness, we only care about how we look in a particular piece of clothing.

The physical aspects which create the initial attraction are primarily associated with unmet psychological needs and unconscious biological reproductive instincts. Some of them are not even real attraction based on a deeper truth that exceeds the way someone looks.

Masks Falling at Christmas

Photo on Foter.com

The mind creates many illusions about what is currently trending and popular. It is skilled to use the unmet needs and the unconscious reproductive instincts to manipulate us.

When we remove these silly surface masks, we get a deeper insight into others, as well as into ourselves, at the same time. This is how we unearth our passion, our awe with life and true internal beauty. This beauty can shine a bright light on any shape and any body.

How Love Makes us Whole

When we are in true internal harmony, we are only interested in whole persons. Whole persons own an individual true power. When we meet such a person, we are able to see clearly through the facade. We discover those whose life music is on the same level with our own soul journey.

Functional relationships have affinity and compatibility between the core values of the two lovers. The truth of these relationships is in the authentic “Me” and “You”, which ignite an inspirational spark of positive creativity that releases, heals and transforms.  

By growing toward a brighter vision, without losing ourselves into the illusion of the shape, we can see everything contained within us, and not only the bits that take us back to our unmet childhood needs – the sorely missed motherly love or the need for recognition and approval from the father. We are able to see clearly how is this connected to how we attract or repel people.

Evolving our DNA through the Way We Love

We have a part of our mom and a part of our dad united in us. Instead of staying lost in the unconscious needs, desires, drives and projections, and seeing only bodies, we can start finding greater meaning and depth in the people that come into our lives. Such people help us grow up to our full potential. They stand next to us during life’s ups and downs.  

DNA Molecular Structure

Photo by GlasgowAmateur on Foter.com / CC BY-SA

There are deeper needs and wishes that have to do with what we aspire to than with what we have accumulated via cultural, biological and social programming.

When we expand our spiritual awareness out of our bodies, we bolster our biological conditioning written in the DNA and we build up our bodies with a different focus and different priorities. Our drive moves toward an essential goal and includes a broader scope of what we really are – a chunk of the cosmic unity brought to life through our bodies.



Dutch Sex Ed model

8 Reasons Why the Dutch Sex-Ed Model is Best in the World

Can you imagine sending your 14-year-old daughter to school in which the teacher in one of her classes asks one of the following questions:

“How will you respond if your boyfriend refuses to put a condom on?”

“What do your friends think about condoms”?

“Write down their possible answers, and then check with your friends if you got their answers right.”

How is this visualization exercise going so far? Does it make you uncomfortable? Are you okay with it?

These conversations are a part of the regular sex-ed curriculum in the Netherlands. Dutch people have regularly been reported to have the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the world and in Europe.

Contrary to what can be assumed, Dutch teenagers don’t get into sexual intercourse any earlier than their peers from other countries. 

dutch sex ed model condoms

Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay

Why Sex Education in Holland Is Remarkably Different than Other Countries?

Here are the eight top reasons why this is happening:

1. The sex-ed program is supported by the Dutch government.

Facing a realistic AIDS threat in the late eighties, the Dutch Foundation for STD Control, in consultation with churches, health practitioners and organizations for family planning, developed a participatory package binding the teachers to become more explicit.

2. It helps students decide about their personal sexual health.

Instead of a mandatory set of rules, the model offers the students developing a set of skills by which they will be able to make their own decisions.

3. It is based on the fact that it is better to get sex ed than deny reality.

Dutch people understood the inevitability of such education and included a certain program even in the mid-seventies. Although there isn’t a compulsory subject matter in class, almost all schools include sexual education in biology classes, and primary schools give due attention to sexuality and contraception.

4. The Dutch sex education model is all-inclusive.

It encompasses not only biological aspects of reproduction, but also values and attitudes, as well as communication and negotiation skills. Some schools use the basic package while others support it with video materials and printed magazines.

5. The program is followed by a mass public campaign.

If the sex-ed lessons were limited only to classrooms, results would be partial. This is why the program included a campaign with popular public persons.

6. Accent on privacy protection.

Confidentiality, guaranteed anonymity, and a non-judgemental approach are the basic pillars of the Dutch health system.

7. Pragmatic parental approach with a focus on children’s personal responsibility.

Dutch parents know that their children are going to have sex. They are ready to speak to them about this and prepare them to take responsibility for their behavior. The teachers attend training – it doesn’t mean that it is easy for them to talk to the students about these topics.

8. Awareness about the fact that talking about sex doesn’t mean giving their children “the wrong idea”.

The model critics are silenced when they read the stats about the sexual health and pregnancy rates for Dutch teenagers as compared to those around the world, and see the success of similar Dutch-based sex ed models.

While any education model can be improved as we grow and learn like humans in an evolving society, it is certain that we have plenty to learn from the Dutch sex-ed example.

A Red Ribbon Letter to a Young Woman on Her Journey to Adulthood

Read this letter to a young woman you know in your life or to the young woman that still lives within you, even if you are a fully grown adult. Continue reading

harness your intuition

How to Harness Your Intuition by Following Your Natural Intuitive Tracker

Apart from possessing the power to orchestrate your attention and language abilities, the cerebellum is capable of doing so much more. It can help you demonstrate fearful and pleasant reactions, nurture visual imagination, and provide a space to develop your intuition.

In fact, the cerebellum is the seat of your intuition.

The cerebellum or the “little brain” is the place to receive intuitive impressions that later get directed to the frontal part of the brain. These impressions break into awareness in the frontal area where the vague and undefined feelings typically associated with the sense of intuition grow into intellectually palpable notions, meanings, and words.

How the “Little Brain” Conspires to Keep You on Track with Intuition

Intuition is a mix of all other senses combined into one. By exercising each of the other senses, we manage to build up a new, more powerful intuitive sense.

Indigenous tribal male members are true experts for this intuitive openness. These are the men that track animals and get visual impressions about them even before they enter their sensory fields.

For these people, intuition is food for the soul and a way to connect to Mother Earth.

harness your intuition with trail tracking

Image by Eva Engvall from Pixabay

When tracking animals, indigenous trackers receive an abundance of information from the environment.

They follow and accumulate insights about wind sounds, bird voices, and animal roaming. They collect visual imprints from the color and the humidity of the soil.

By observing the signs and interpreting the freshness of the trace itself, and by breathing in the smell of air, earth, and plants, they listen to the wilderness.

Intuitive trail trackers approach animals using their body sympathetic system movements. Such movements show up as a result of the sensations that came up during the observation of the trail footprints.

They are accustomed to the animal spirit living in each and every one of us, those that Jungian analysts would call animal archetypes. Indigenous trackers are experienced enough to follow these inherent signs.

Indigenous Tribes, Animal Spirits, and Animal Archetypes

Animals can sense nature changes long before we can do it on our own as humans. With the passage of time, by becoming “civilized”, we have forgotten to nurture this animalistic spiritual ability.

Some indigenous tribes which are aware of the animals within know this fact well. When they catch an animal, they do something that would make our stomachs turn – they collectively drink its blood.

Yes, the link between blood-drinking savagery and today’s sophisticated animal cruelty may not be that obvious, but it is there.

Intuitive Tracking

Photo by Maurizio Costanzo – mavik2007 on Foter.com / CC BY

How to Foster Intuition and Connect with Nature

By all means, coming back to the intuitive trail tracking should not be done with the purpose to drink animal blood.

However, maintaining this link with nature in this way is essential, especially for men, who are, as a general rule, poorly connected to their bodies and nature.

The intuition packed in the “little brain” is a portal to the higher state of awareness. Trackers access the higher awareness portal to synthesize knowledge from all senses and make connections between seemingly unrelated data.

In a way, this is a very natural process that can help you make everyday decisions with more confidence.

The kinesthetic learning via the body memory and the repetition of already observed animal movements from the environment consists of the art of perception that can serve us as an appealing doorway to connecting with nature.

Intuition: More than the Voice of Internal Instincts

Intuition is internal listening. Its use is similar to the practice of trail tracking. Although you can’t see the animal, the surroundings send you various warning signs about its presence. By carefully nurturing these signs, you can develop an energetic connection to the animal, becoming more capable of getting closer to it.

harness your intuition hieroglyphs

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Are you a skeptic who doesn’t believe that energy can be sensed without immediate physical touch? Try closing your eyes and ask a close person to bring the palms of their hands close to your body while you keep your eyes closed.

Try guessing where they hold their hands. The closer the palms are, the easier it is to feel their closeness to a specific part of your body.

When you regularly hone your intuition, your senses grow in experience and sharpen. In turn, you will become more accustomed to feeling the energy from afar.

Though this is a natural, instinctive process, we are rarely encouraged to develop our tracking abilities as children.

Most educational systems have a strong focus on developing mental abilities and a tendency to disregard out internal listening skills and intuitive knowledge.

Even scouts have a major focus on discipline rather than on developing a more comprehensive skill set.

When we are used to expecting the absolute wisdom from external authorities, we become easy prey to our little fears, unpleasant events, and physical pain. They can be enough to propel us into abandoning personal instincts and intrinsic wisdom.

This disassociation from a tradition reflects in today’s male absence – not in physical space, but in absence from the space of awareness. Most men have almost completely forgotten about this masculine intuition aspect – trail tracking.

However, thanks to the popularity of outdoor activities, nomadic living, and minimalistic lifestyles, we see more of this natural attribute.

How to Feed Your Intuition Through Deep Intimate Contact

Intuition is in a survival mode when fed by rush, ambition, and control.

Nourish your intuition by feeding it with feelings of peace, rest, pause, flow, sufficiency, and silence.

In the language of Tao polarities, the intuition is a feminine quality. This is, however, no gender-isolated question, as all people have both aspects in them.

harness your intuition wood carvings of man and woman

Image by Peter Pruzina from Pixabay

Women don’t have an exclusive right to intuition. But many females have better contact with their body as a whole. They haven’t forgotten to nurture intuition the way men have because of the socially imposed role to bury emotions.

A rare place where men can relate to their neglected feminine energy and intuition is the sexual or the deep intimate experience. Since men turn off this part within themselves, the easiest way to feed their intuition is from intimate contact with women.

This narrative is a different interpretation of the good vs. bad assumptions about women’s and men’s attitudes towards sex. What is the true meaning of the saying “Men want only sex”?

Whoever was the originator of this shallow assumption, they have done us a great disservice by painting the story of sexual connection cut off from nature.

It is time for a new worldview of intuition. To do that, we must pause and listen with a new sense of awareness arising from our connection to body, mind, spirit, and nature.

Stories about Dogs and People participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Unless I've bought them as hardcover/paperback editions, I read most books on the Kindle app, but reading them on a Kindle device is a much better experience.